Also see our Hot Topics page on Methamphetamines and Child Welfare.
Guidance to the States: Recommendations for Developing Family Drug Court Guidelines
The Center for Children and Family Futures (CCFF) released this publication, prepared by the Office of Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), which provides guidance for local and state policymakers and practitioners to implement best practices in providing effective family drug court (FDC) services. Well-functioning FDCs bring together substance abuse treatment (in lieu of incarceration), mental health, and social services agencies with the court and attorneys to meet the diverse needs of high-risk families in which parental substance use disorders contribute to child maltreatment. (May 2013)
- CMCS Informational Bulletin on Prevention and Early Identification of Mental Health and Substance Use Conditions in Children
The Medicaid program provides coverage to 27 million children under age 18 in the United States. A core component of this coverage is the Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic and Treatment (EPSDT) benefit, which ensures that the health care needs of children and youth are addressed to maximize their growth and development. Prevention and early identification of health conditions, which is a key component of EPSDT, promotes positive health outcomes and can reduce health care costs across an individual’s lifespan. The Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services (CMCS) has issued this Informational Bulletin to help inform states about resources available to help them meet the needs of children under EPSDT, specifically with respect to mental health and substance use disorder services. (March 2013)
- Supporting Infants, Toddlers and Families Impacted by Caregiver Mental Health Problems, Substance Abuse, and Trauma – A Community Action Guide
Using a case study approach, this guide published by SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) presents resources that service providers, advocates, and practitioners can use to better understand and engage the community in responding to children whose caregivers are negatively impacted by mental illness, substance abuse, or trauma. (October 2012)
- Rise Magazine March 2012: Featured Stories on Domestic Violence and Substance Abuse
Rise magazine is written by and for parents involved with the child welfare system. The Rise Magazine website currently features three stories on domestic violence and substance abuse:
- Alcohol Screening and Brief Intervention for Youth: A Practitioner’s Guide
This resource is designed to help health care professionals quickly identify youth (age 9 to 18) at risk for alcohol-related problems. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism developed the Guide and Pocket Guide in collaboration with the American Academy of Pediatrics, a team of underage drinking researchers and clinical specialists, and practicing health care professionals. The tool can detect risk early; is empirically based; is fast and versatile; and is the first tool to include friends’ drinking. (October 2011)
- Promising Practices Toolkit: Working with Drug Endangered Children and Their Families
This toolkit was developed by the Federal Interagency Task Force on Drug Endangered Children. The DEC Task Force Federal Partnerships Subcommittee conducted an assessment of promising practices in the field and of training modules provided by federal, state, local, tribal, and community-based providers across the country. This toolkit is a compilation of many of those practices, separated into three categories: (1) increasing DEC awareness, (2) fostering community collaboration, and (3) creating a more effective response. The intent of this toolkit is to provide guidance and resources to professionals in identifying, responding to, and serving drug endangered children. The Task Force is committed to identifying ways to better serve and protect drug endangered children by building partnerships on the federal, state, tribal, and local levels. For each practice identified, the toolkit provide information about the practice (what is working), how the practice can be helpful (why it works), and resources to assist in implementing the practice in your community (how to get started). (May 2011)
- Children Living with Substance-Dependent or Substance-Abusing Parents: 2002 to 2007
Statistics from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) illustrate the breadth of the parental substance use problem. According to SAMHSA's National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), more than 1 in 10 children were living in homes with substance-dependent or substance-abusing parents between 2002 and 2007. This issue of The NSDUH Report examines the number of children living with substance-dependent or substance-abusing parents, including biological, step-, adoptive, and foster children under 18 years of age who were living with one or both parents at the time of the survey interview. Data show that more than 8.3 million children (11.9%) lived with at least one parent who was dependent on or abused alcohol or an illicit drug during the previous year. Alcohol abuse was more prevalent than drug abuse among parents, and fathers were more likely to be abusers than were mothers. These data highlight the broad need for prevention, support, and intervention services for children and families. (April 2009)
- Parental Substance Use and the Child Welfare System (Factsheet)
Parental substance use continues to be a serious issue in the child welfare system. Maltreated children of parents with substance use disorders often remain in the child welfare system longer and experience poorer outcomes than other children (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services [HHS], 1999). Addressing the multiple needs of these children and families is challenging. This factsheet from the Child Welfare Information Gateway provides a brief overview of some of the issues confronting families affected by parental substance use who enter the child welfare system, and it examines some of the service barriers as well as the innovative approaches child welfare agencies have developed to best meet the needs of these children and families. (January 2009)
- Screening and Assessment for Family Engagement, Retention, and Recovery
The SAFERR monograph was developed in response to frequent requests from managers of child welfare agencies for a "tool" that caseworkers could use to screen parents for potential substance use disorders in order to make decisions about children's safety. Although research findings and practical experience have established that no single checklist yields the kind of information caseworkers need to make difficult decisions about whether children are safe, they have identified an array of screening instruments and practice principles that, if used appropriately, can provide timely information to guide those decisions. It also provides guidance on developing collaborative efforts to improve outcomes for families. (September 2008)
- Child Welfare Interventions for Drug-Dependent Pregnant Women: Limitations of a Non-Public Health Response
In its 2003 amendments to the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act, Congress adopted a policy requiring physicians to report to child protective services all patients who give birth to an infant affected by illicit drug use. Drawing on epidemiological, medical and social science research, this article from the University of Maryland School of Law critiques Congress's decision to require health professionals to engage in a surveillance role instead of a therapeutic intervention. (April 2007)
- SAMHSA Children's Program Kit
The kit is designed to provide materials for substance abuse programs so that they can initiate educational support programs for the children of their clients in substance abuse treatment. The program will teach children skills such as solving problems, coping, social competence, autonomy and a sense of purpose and future. The toolkit has activities for children in elementary school, in middle school and high school. It contains information for therapists to distribute to their clients to help parents understand the needs of their children, and training materials including posters and videos for substance abuse treatment staff who plan to offer support groups for children. (September 2005)
- Substance Use and Need for Treatment Among Youths Who Have Been in Foster Care
This report from the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration looks at the need for and receipt of substance abuse treatment among youths who have been in foster care. Youths who have ever been in foster care had higher rates of need for substance abuse treatment than youths who have never been in foster care. Youths aged 12 to 17 who were in need of substance abuse treatment in the past year were more likely to have received treatment if they have ever been in foster care. (February 2005)
- Substance-Exposed Newborns: New Federal Law Raises Some Old Issues
The Keeping Children and Families Safe Act of 2003 added a number of new eligibility requirements for child welfare funding under the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA). Among these is a requirement that states have policies and procedures requiring health care providers to notify CPS of “infants born and identified as being affected by illegal substance abuse or withdrawal symptoms resulting from prenatal drug exposure.” This paper from the National Conference of State Legislatures describes the law, provides an overview of existing state reporting laws, discusses the role of CPS, and highlights the importance of prevention. (September 2004)
- A Guide to Evidence-Based Practices on the Web
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration provides this Web Guide to assist the public with simple and direct connections to Web sites that contain information about interventions to prevent and/or treat mental and substance use disorders. The Web Guide provides a list of Web sites that contain information about specific evidence-based practices (EBPs) or provide comprehensive reviews of research findings.
Resources from the States
- Substance Abuse Interventions for Parents Involved in the Child Welfare System: Evidence and Implications
This structured literature review from the Center for Social Services Research focuses on interventions for substance-abusing parents in the child welfare system (CWS), as well as interventions for mothers and women in general. A review of collaborative models between the CWS and alcohol and other drug (AOD) systems is also included in this review. See the Executive Summary and Full Report. (2006)
- Maine: Universal Substance Abuse Screening for Families in the Child Welfare System: Policy and Practice for Family Assessments and Alternative Response
Maine has a system for universal screening for substance abuse of families who have been referred to the child welfare system. Considered the first state to implement such universal screening, a group of dedicated policy makers, administrators, and professionals developed and implemented a system of screening policies and procedures that use the UNCOPE screening tool for identifying substance abuse issues in its child welfare family assessments. In addition, contract agencies providing alternative response services to low-to-moderate at-risk families also utilize the UNCOPE. For the first time, a uniform screening tool is part of the safety assessment completed for every case that is investigated or referred for alternative response. (July 2007)
- New York: Gearing Up to Improve Outcomes for Families: New York State Collaborative Practice Guide for Managers and Supervisors in Child Welfare, Chemical Dependency Services, and Court Systems
This guidebook, developed for the New York State Office of Children & Family Services with technical assistance provided by the National Center on Substance Abuse and Child Welfare (NCSACW), is based on the premise that when substance use disorders affect children and families, children can suffer from abuse and/ or neglect. When this occurs, it is essential that the Chemical Dependency, Child Welfare and Family Court systems work together with families to achieve child safety, sustained parental recovery, and family wellbeing. This tool was created to serve as a desk reference for staff to assist in maximizing their effectiveness in working with families, and each other. (June 2008)
- Substance Abuse: Working with Families During Case Planning and Relapse
The modules of this training from the Georgia Department of Human Services addresses the following: The Language of Substance Abuse; Methamphetamine: The Newest Threat; Addiction – A Brain Disease; Behavioral Characteristics of Substance Abusers; A Family Disease; Treatment; and, Moving the Family Towards Change. See the Participant Guide and Trainer’s Guide Outline. (2009)
- Pathways to Collaboration: Factors That Help and Hinder Collaboration Between Substance Abuse and Child Welfare Fields
This curriculum from the California Social Work Education Center at San Jose State University School of Social Work provides a review of key research literature related to cross-systems collaboration between substance abuse and child welfare fields as well as promising models for collaborative practice. The curriculum also provides a summary of findings and activities centered on factors that have helped and hindered collaborative practice in relation to developing effective collaborative relationships, structures, programming, and practices as well as operational innovations to improve collaboration in daily practice, such as written memorandum of understanding between systems as well as forms and procedures for obtaining releases of information and sharing information about client progress or changes. (2008)
- Training Materials from Utah Division of Child and Family Services
DCF developed a supervisor handbook and participant guide to implement a statewide training for child welfare supervisors and caseworkers, utilizing the NCSACW online tutorial Understanding Substance Use Disorders, Treatment and Family Recovery: A Guide for Child Welfare Professionals (2007).
- The Participant Workbook contains Reading Questions based on the online tutorial to help caseworkers identify key concepts and support their knowledge acquisition.
- The Supervisor Handbook allows supervisors to become familiar with the training materials and plan for training completion, follow up, and mentoring. The Handbook includes a discussion guide to evaluate what caseworks learned from the tutorial, what they have applied with families, and what they can do to support families affected by substance use disorders.
- Curricula from the Pennsylvania Child Welfare Training Program at the University of Pittsburgh
- Drug and Alcohol Issues: An Introduction for Child Welfare Professionals
This curriculum serves as an introduction for child welfare professionals on the topic of drug and alcohol issues and the connection of those issues to child welfare. (May 2006)
- Supervisory Skills and Knowledge Related to Case Planning and AOD Use/Abuse
This course is designed as a supervisory level overview of case planning for families with substance abuse issues. Supervisors will learn how to assess workers' knowledge and skills related to the primary and secondary indicators of substance abuse in families and the criteria to use in assessing the effectiveness of treatment programs, assist workers in gaining/improving their knowledge and skills, and improve their own skills in assisting their workers to develop an effective case plan using the stages of addiction and the eco-map tool. This workshop focuses on supervisory level responsibilities and assumes you have the basic knowledge of AOD use and abuse. (June 2003)
- Supervisory Skills and Knowledge Related to Substance Abuse
Supervisors will learn how to assess a worker's knowledge and skills related to 1) terms and concepts related to addiction, 2) psychological, physiological, and sociological impact of addiction, and 3) the stages of addiction and change. Upon assessment, supervisors will be able to assist workers in gaining/improving their knowledge and skills in working with families in AOD use/abuse. Supervisors will also learn the questions to ask a worker to insure their staff is providing an accurate child safety assessment. (May 2003)
- Social Work Curriculum on Alcohol Use Disorders
Social work educators prepare professionals to practice in a variety of settings where they have the opportunity to improve outcomes for their clients who either have an identifiable alcohol use disorder or are at risk for developing one. Lecture-ready modules, developed by top-named experts in alcoholism and social work research, support professional MSW education. Materials include Powerpoint presentations, handout materials, classroom activities, and accompanying case examples to extend student interaction with the subject matter. Modules can be used individually or as a series, and modified to fit specific teaching objectives. The curriculum covers current research in the areas of epidemiology, etiology, prevention, screening, assessment, intervention and motivational interviewing, legal and ethical issues, coordinated care systems, intimate partner violence, adolescence, women, older adults, homelessness, comorbidity, sexual orientation, refugees and immigrants, ethnicity, disability, and fetal exposure to alcohol. (Updated March 2005)
- Online Tutorials by the National Center on Substance Abuse and Child Welfare
The National Center on Substance Abuse and Child Welfare offers four free online self-tutorials, geared toward four different target audiences. They work to establish a baseline for knowledge on the subjects of substance abuse and child welfare, and to support and facilitate cross-systems work. A certificate for claiming Continuing Education Units is available upon successful completion of each tutorial. The tutorials are:
- Recovering Together Program
These materials from Clarity Counseling include Women's Curriculum, Children's Curriculum, Materials and video Facilitator's Presentation. RTP is a is a year-long therapeutic and educational program for mothers and their children, serving mothers who need help with both child maltreatment and substance abuse issues. Staffed by a multi-disciplinary team, RTP uses culturally appropriate and theory-driven treatment methods that are creatively designed for women and children's special needs. The RTP design includes advocacy and case management services for families. These approaches were selected based on a literature review completed before the initial design of the RTP program and continued throughout the 3 years of field testing, formative evaluation, and modifications of the original model.
- National Center on Substance Abuse and Child Welfare
NCSACW is an initiative of the Department of Health and Human Services and jointly funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's (SAMHSA) Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT) and the Administration on Children, Youth and Families (ACYF), Children's Bureau's Office on Child Abuse and Neglect (OCAN). NCSACW's goals are to develop and implement a comprehensive program of information gathering and dissemination, to provide technical assistance and to develop knowledge and its application that promotes effective practice, organizational, and system changes at the local, state, and national levels.
- National Alliance for Drug Endangered Children
The National Alliance for Drug Endangered Children promotes the DEC team concept and public awareness for the problems faced by these children. The Alliance provides multi-disciplinary training for communities interested in starting or expanding DEC programs. The Alliance supports a nationwide network of professionals serving drug endangered children by providing referrals to experts, updated research on topics concerning drug endangered children, and best practice information.
- Child Welfare Information Gateway: Substance Abuse
Substance abuse is a common problem in families involved with the child welfare system. There is increasing awareness that the abuse of drugs or alcohol by parents and other caregivers can have a negative impact on the safety, permanence, and well-being of children and families. Because so many child welfare cases involve substance abuse, child welfare agencies have begun to use a range of strategies to prevent and treat substance abuse in families, improving outcomes for children and families.
- Treatment Improvement Exchange: Women, Children & Families
The Treatment Improvement Exchange (TIE) is a resource sponsored by the Division of State and Community Assistance of the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment to provide information exchange between CSAT staff and State and local alcohol and substance abuse agencies. This portion of their website is devoted to substance abuse issues affecting women and children. Much of the material is of interest to those working with substance-abusing mothers in the child welfare system.
- Center for Substance Abuse Research
CESAR at the University of Maryland at College Park is dedicated to addressing the problems substance abuse creates for individuals, families, and communities. To this end, the mission of CESAR is to inform policymakers, practitioners, and the general public about substance abuse—its nature and extent, its prevention and treatment, and its relation to other problems. You can subscribe to CESAR Fax, their email newsletter, for a weekly, one-page overview of timely substance abuse trends or issues, or read them online.
- Alcohol Policy Information System
This online resource provides detailed information on a wide variety of alcohol-related policies in the United States at both State and Federal levels. It features compilations and analyses of alcohol-related statutes and regulations. Designed primarily as a tool for researchers, APIS simplifies the process of ascertaining the state of the law for studies on the effects and effectiveness of alcohol-related policies.